I was going to title this article Top 10 Cheap Acoustic Guitars for Beginners, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that these are not cheap guitars. These are inexpensive acoustic guitars that are great for beginners. There are hundreds of cheap guitars out there, with low price tags and low quality. These aren’t those.
These acoustic guitars are not cheaply made. They offer good quality, and great value for their respective price tags.
Many of the guitars on this list might be considered the best acoustic guitars for beginners, but they also make an excellent choice for a backup or travel guitar for the experienced player as well. Worried about bringing your Martin D-16GT on a camping trip for a week? Why not pick up the Seagull S6 instead?
To put it simply, these are not cheap acoustic guitars, but they are acoustic guitars for cheap. 😉
Without further ado, I present to you….
10 inexpensive acoustic guitars for beginners.
1. Seagull S6
Seagull acoustic guitars are made in Canada and come highly regarded. They offer a beautiful sound at an excellent value. The Seagull S6 has a mahogany back and sides, and a solid cedar top. The Seagull S6 blends the warmth of mahogany with the crisp definition of maple.
The rosewood fretboard is easy on the fingers, while the Tusq nut and saddle provide good tone and stable tuning.
This acoustic guitar also features a double action truss rod to help keep it in tune over the years.
At around $399 it may seem a bit pricey, but it it well worth the money. It’s not a cheap guitar, but it’s a good guitar. I would not recommend it for someone who is looking to try his hand at learning guitar and may not stick with it, but it’s an excellent 1st guitar and a great investment for someone willing to put in the practice time needed to play well.
Here’s a demo/promo video of the Seagull S6 in action:
2. Yamaha FG700S
The Yamaha FG700S is significantly lower in price (about half the price of the Seagull S6), but still a very good beginner acoustic guitar. It features a solid Sitka Spruce top, rosewood fingerboard and die-cast tuners and a high-gloss natural finish.
Yamaha’s legendary value and quality make are present in this very affordable entry-level 6-string acoustic guitar.
Check out the Yamaha FG700S in action:
3. Takamine G-340
The Takamine G-340 is a Dreadnought body style acoustic guitar and features a Spruce top with Abalone Rosette and dot inlays. The back and sides are Mahogany. This is definitely the beginner line of Takamine guitars and while it does not feature the superior sound qualities of the higher end models, it doesn’t feature their higher end price tag either.
Most people agree that the G-340 gives you pretty good bang for the buck and makes an excellent acoustic guitar for beginners.
With a beautiful sound, sturdy construction and a pleasing look, the Takamine G-430 is a solid beginner guitar offering plenty of room to grow. At under $300, it’s a solid buy.
Here’s a demo of the G-340 in action:
4. Fender CD-140S
The Fender CD-140S is a full bodied Dreadnought acoustic guitar featuring solid Spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides. It’s a lower-end Fender and may not have the superb workmanship of the higher priced models, the solid Spruce top and Rosewood headstock and bridge with compensated saddle make it an appealing beginner model.
The CD-140S dreadnought provides a full, resonant sound at a great value (currently under $200).
The 2011 upgrade gives this model a new tortoise shell pickguard and mother-of-pearl rosette design.
Check out the Fender CD-140s acoustic guitar in action here:
5. Epiphone DR-100
The DR-100 is considered by many to be strictly an acoustic guitar for beginners – meaning it will not be long before the serious player wants to trade up. But at less than $100, it’s a fine starter guitar for people who aren’t sure they will have the desire or aptitude to stick with playing.
It’s available in 3 different finishes: Ebony, Natural, and Vintage Sunburst.
6. Ibanez AC300NT
The Ibanez AC300NT is a worthy entry in the beginner guitar series, and while you can find better acoustic guitars out there, few are as good at this price. It features a solid Engelmann Spruce top, and Mahogany back and sides. It’s smaller body doesn’t take much away from it’s loudness or crispness. It’s similar to Martins and Taylors in terms of sound and retails for around $150.
You do get what you pay for though, and the AC300NT is geared toward finger picking or soloing. It’s ok for strumming and rhythm work, but not as well balanced for each technique as some other guitars on this list.
7. Fender DG-8S
If it sounds a little light on construction, it’s because it is. This is a definite starter guitar – read: you will be trading this in if you pursue playing past the basics. That’s ok though, because this is a great acoustic guitar for people looking to try their hand at guitar playing but who aren’t sure how far they want to go with it.
It’s usually sold in a starter kit package, including things like a chromatic electronic tuner, instructional DVD, strings, picks and strap. Basically, everything you need to sit down and start learning. All for under $200.
There are cheaper starter kits out there, but they’re…well, cheap. In the right hands the Fender DG-8S can really sing (and make a great gift for Christmas 😉 ):
8. Martin LX1
The Martin LX1 is a 3/4 size acoustic guitar which features a solid Sapele top, back and sides. It also has a Stratabond modified low oval neck and Gotoh nickel-plated tuners with the classic C.F. Martin script logo on headstock.
Being 3/4 size it’s perfect for a travel guitar as well as a practice guitar for beginning students or younger students with smaller hands. It retails for under $300 and includes a gig bag. That might seem like a lot for a 3/4 guitar, but it’s a very good quality 3/4 guitar.
Here’s a demo:
9. Baby Taylor
The Baby Taylor is another 3/4 size dreadnought acoustic guitar and like the Martin LX1, it’s perfect for younger players and those with smaller hands. It’s in the same price range as the LX1 (under $300), and while it’s a good guitar, it’s not as good as higher end Taylors. That’s also true of the Martin LX1 though. It’s simply difficult to provide a high quality instrument at the lower price point.
Don’t get me wrong, the Baby Taylor is still a solid guitar a great 3/4 Dreadnought. It’s got a solid Mahogany top, and Sapele back sides. It’s also got a Tusq nut and saddle for great tone in such a tiny package. A gig bag is generally included also, since it’s a non-standard size.
Here’s a nice demo of the Baby Taylor acoustic guitar:
10. Washburn WD10 Series
The Washburn WD10 Series has a solid Spruce top and wood Rosette with bone nut and saddle. It may be the bone saddle and nut, or maybe it’s better construction but this guitar sounds like a guitar twice it’s price. That and the fact that its price is less than $200 make this a great acoustic guitar for the beginner or as a backup or travel guitar.
You could do far worse for $250 than this great looking guitar with a nice bright tone and strong mid range.